More Musings on Walking the Path of Ethical Herbalism

Walking among wild things, we come to find we have aspects of all the wild beings, and we bring this all in service to the help of healing ourselves and others. While the ancient healing system seems to be out of the conscious sphere of so many caught in the cycle of living in modern society, traditional healing itself, never went anywhere. Nor is it in conflict with any other healing system or service, as in Traditional Healing, all modes of healing are considered sacred medicines…including, but not limited to animals, plants, tools, techniques, science, with a large focus on spiritual healing intertwined in all medicines that are brought forth, and carried, in the Heart.


At times, underground, but still here. Our Western Herbalism, often a mix of European and Native American, and in which I am very blessed in the continuance of from both my Magyar and Cherokee Family, has always been an intact tradition of healing and connection with a variety of beings, plant, animal and human. With the newly found popularity again of this ancient tradition (I am so happy for the new-found love of herbal healing from so much of the public), it is also important to remind enthusiasts that this is a very in-depth tradition with a very real science of matching relationships between Beings. That is, what we do as Herbalists…we are catalysts in the relationships which we spend a lifetime to understand. This is a lifetime work. This is not fast food.


In our instant internet age, a lifetime can seem to some, ten minutes. For those who come from families with no healing traditions, they *believe* they are reinventing the wheel and Western Healing Tradition is brand new, created by themselves. For those of us who are, at most, two generations ago from the Healer Peoples who healed with hands and all the blessings and gifts of Creation, such pronouncements can seem like an industrialized slapped in the face.

While many Herbalists make a living on practicing these arts, it is ever a life path, and a path of service for all life. It is not a business perse, and never was or is supposed to be “a business”. It is a way of living and helping and being. A way of protecting life around us. A way of understanding, and being in tune with what surrounds us. It is a way to spread love, especially to those who have lost hope. It is a way of breathing and talking, loving and reaching out to the life around us. Out of respect, and in order to sustain ourselves, we make a “living”. That is the sacred life being lived in full view.


It takes a lifetime to learn even one plant fully, and still, we will lie on our deathbeds learning more of one plant. This is definitely, not a reductionist view of life, of living, of creation. Ethical Herbalism is a deep calling to relationship with the world, of connection, of love, of God.

I can understand how immensely frightening that is to some, who didn’t grow up with the peoples who worked with their hands, prayed with their hands, healed with their hands, and knew their communities of peoples and non-peoples in-depthly. Modern society has been here but for a blip, and has not canceled out the sum total of knowledge existing in the world. It has often fought against Spirit, or Love, but nevertheless, life is fully present as always, even in these strange times.

The person, with hands full of fire, laid over a person, is still a happening phenomenon. Not a “new” thing. A very old thing. A very old way, of living and loving with hands, with heart, with mind and a Spirit whirling large with love.

And as we walk this way, it unfolds into a deeper walking and a deeper love. And there is no happier or joyful life than that if you’re willing to put the real work in!

(c) 2015, Summer Farkas Takács-Michaelson, CH


The Desert Heart Opens With Winking Sage

I just came home from hiking in the Oregon Desert. Salmon are big, the big drum is beating. Desert talking.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Being in the world, of the world, hovering with the currents. So we all dance with ourselves. Looking around, comparing, comparing, so the self compares, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand distinguishes this from that. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn distinguishing this from that, danger exists with seeing fields of plants as all the same. Each plant is different, even in the same family. Different, different, goes the drum beat, dancing on the wind current, tunes plants to themselves, sharing the unique songs, all floating on the current.

Tuned to time, a counting of seconds for a period, tuned to greater time, a dance of changing. We look on as the seasons change, buds, leaves grow, leaves let go, sleep, no fear to bud again. Purity dazzling thought.

Buds, grow, grow, falling into air, outward sprouting, inward fiber tingling downwards, downwards, to base and roots that grow into Heart Mother. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABud fibers extending down branch fibers, down to base and roots that grow into Heart Mother, sprouting outward into air, falling into air. The bud doesn’t always know its supported in its falling outward into air, it just has to trust. The trusting enables the growing, the moving, the swaying, buds and flowers and bees playing, leaves are staying, until they fall on the ground, laying rich ground to grow more from ground again outward, upward, downward. Falling out and in.

So the dance goes, the dreaming rows, on currents both swift and slow, on a great river so large, we can never know. Just trust. Just love. Just know.

Is the bud lonely when falling in the air? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADoes the fiber in the root toes feel lonely falling into the ground? Touching the falling, they trust, and find each other.

The Desert Heart Opens With Winking Sage. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH

Plants Teach Us Poetry!

Plants, they give to us so much in this world, including air and rain and soil! Food and Medicine! Do you think about it?


Or do you see plants as something without life, static, deserved? Do you feel the love of honoring and protecting them? Or are they just something to have? 


Look and See,

Look Closely,


Aha! Aha!

(c) 2013, Summer L. Farkas Takacs Michaelson, CH